Choosing the right naginata for you

Written by Jeangerard Hughes(Tozando, Naginata 5-dan) It feels tautological to say that the naginata (the wooden weapon) is at the core of your Naginata (the martial art). In few other arts you are supposed to make one with your weapon to the point that you are most of the time simply required to stick physically to it through waza process. Also naginata is a huge weapon, with length ranging from 212 to 225 cm for the AJNF1 standard versions, revealing qualities or on the contrary amplifying default, both in the weapon and the techniques.They are also quite costly to come by, so you want it to endure and stay through…

Jōdan-no-kamae Part 2: How to improve your technique

Written by Aya Onodera, Kendo 3-dan(Tozando) In the Jōdan stance you raise your Shinai up above your head, leaving your torso wide open. Unlike when two Chūdan practitioners fight, there is no offensive Shinai techniques such as Harai-waza going on between the two practitioners while they try to create an opening to attack, and this might at first glance make you think that the Jōdan stance is full with openings. However if you try to attack such a Jōdan practitioner carelessly, you might get hit with a high speed downward swing from over the head. The Katate-waza is a characteristic technique in the Jōdan stance where you swing using only…

Buying your first set of kendo-gu?

Written by Alex Bennett, Kendo Kyoshi 7-dan You’ve been to the local dojo for a look. You liked what you saw. Throngs of frenzied jedis duelling with bamboo sabres. Could this be the martial art that will change your life? There is only one way to find out. You join the local dojo Progress in kendo is typically not that fast. It takes a long time to get used to the Japanese words, master the awkward fighting stance, and swing the shinai in unison with body and spirit. Depending on the dojo, the first few months will be spent learning footwork and suburi. Gradually you will move on to striking…

Most frequently asked questions about Kendo Kote Part 2

I want to buy a new Kote, could you please give me some advice? Like with the Menfuton, it’s good to get a Kote that is properly padded, where the padding is adequately thick and properly dispersed throughout the Futon and has good moisture absorption. Such a Kote will properly absorb any impact from hits and provide ample protection. We often hear people tell us that “machine-stitched Kote hurts”, however, it’s not the problem of whether it was machine-stitched or not, but rather that it wasn’t adequately padded from the beginning, and without enough thickness and elasticity in the padding, it will hurt when you are hit. Since the Kote…

Most frequently asked questions about Kendo Kote Part 1

Can you repair a Kote by yourself? Generally speaking in terms of Bogu, it’s said that by the time your Do has reached the end of its life-time, you will have gone through two Men, and three pairs of Kote. That shows how fast a pair of Kote can be expended and thus has to be repaired or exchanged much more often compared to other parts of your Bogu. The part of the Kote that most often need to be repaired is the palm leather, since small and large holes tend to open up rather often. If the hole is small, and you have the right tools, you can probably…

About the attitude towards appearance in Iaido

Written by Hideki Matsuno, Iaido Renshi 6-dan(Tozando) In Budo, appearance and the way you dress is a very important element, and it’s often said that your appearance is a mirror of your mind. If your appearance is disorderly, it shows that your mind is disturbed. Always remaining well dressed and tidy, this is also something that requires practice. It’s said that just the thought that it’s alright even if your appearance get a bit disorderly, poisons your mind and affect your technique, and when you think that it’s alright to be a bit sloppy with your appearance, you might unconsciously be sloppy when you swing your sword also. Tozando Anti-bacterial…

Japanese Sword Mainteance Guide Part 3: How to preserve your sword

Written by Yasumasa Yamamoto(Tozando) The most important aspects of preserving Japanese swords are to protect them from developing rust and scratches. The precautions required for keeping the sword in good condition are the following: The most important aspects of preserving Japanese swords are to protect them from developing rust and scratches. The precautions required for keeping the sword in good condition are the following: Tozando Antique Japanese Swords Store Ship worldwide by Federal Express Store the blade in a Shirasaya Despite regular care and oiling, a blade may develop rust in places. Especially when a Koshirae is very old, the interior of the Saya may well be contaminated with rust and…

Japanese Sword Mainteance Guide Part 2: How to maintain your sword

Written by Yasumasa Yamamoto(Tozando) To summarize, when maintaining a sword, the main purpose to prevent the blade from oxidizing and rusting. Therefore, it is necessary to thoroughly remove any stale oil from the blade and replace it entirely with new oil, making sure that the whole blade is covered and not leaving any spots ungreased. Maintenance tools Japanese swords are generally polished using more than 10 different types of grinding/polishing stones making the surface of the blade very smooth. Because of this, any dirt or dust that may be stuck on your Nuguigami or Abura-nuguishi might inflict damage to the blade, thus it is of utmost importance that you keep…

Japanese Sword Mainteance Guide Part 1: How to draw the sword and sheath your sword

Written by Yasumasa Yamamoto(Tozando) It goes without saying, that Japanese swords are precious cultural treasures, but if it is handled roughly it might be damaged or might cause injury to yourself or someone else. If that happens, the value of such a precious treasure might be lost and as Japanese, we won’t be able face our predecessors and ancestors. Because of that, we hope that you pay utmost attention and respect when handling and owning such a sword. Tozando Antique Japanese Swords Store Ship worldwide by Federal Express Handling precautions Whether your Japanese sword is being preserved in a Shirasaya (a simple wooden scabbard and hilt for storage purposes) or…

3 points to look out for when choosing your Kendo Men

Written by Akira Onishi, Kendo Bogu craftsman(Tozando) First of all, the point most people would prioritize would be to choose a Men that doesn’t hurt too much when you are hit. However, this is hard to know, so let me explain from the beginning. The Men Futon is usually stuffed with varying layers of cotton and felt, thanks to these, when you are hit by a Shinai the padding absorbs the impact. In a good Men, the padding will not only be soft, but also highly elastic, which means that the padding after being compressed by the impact of the Shinai, will strive to return to its original state, dispersing…